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March 20th, 2009

Smith & Wesson Pistol Sales Up Nearly 50%

Across the country, Americans are purchasing handguns in record numbers, and Smith & Wesson is riding this wave of gun buying. S&W reports that its pistol sales rose a whopping 45.7% in the third quarter of 2008. Due in large part to the rise in handgun revenues, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:SWHC) reported Thursday that it posted a third-quarter profit of $2.4 million, or 5 cents a share, compared to a loss of a loss of $1.8 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago.

Smith Wesson pistol sales

The company’s third-quarter results easily beat Wall Street estimates. For the quarter, pistol sales jumped 45.7 percent during the quarter while net product sales rose 25.9 percent. Said CEO Michael Golden, “While our hunting business continues to suffer in the current economic environment, the market for hunting rifles in a healthy economy is a sizeable one. In addition, this portion of our business produces barrels for our tactical rifles, products that are clearly in very high demand right now.”

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March 19th, 2009

Sony Mini-Computer with Built-In GPS

Imagine if you could have a powerful Windows-based portable PC that would run your ballistics programs, sync with your chronograph, run Excel spread sheets (with reloading logs), connect wirelessly to the internet for weather info and load data, AND provide built-in GPS Navigation. OK, now imagine having all those capabilities (plus a camera) in a 1.4-pound computer with a compact 9.65″ x 4.72″ footprint!

Sony Vaio P

Sound impossible? Not any more. The new Sony Vaio P-Series can do everything we’ve described and still fit easily inside a range-bag or vehicle glove-box. About as thin as a deck of cards, this remarkable little computer can perform a myriad of tasks for the shooter and outdoor sportsman. On the way to the range, you can use it for in-vehicle navigation — with its built-in GPS it provides turn-by-turn instructions (no internet connection needed for GPS services). Once you get to your destination you can then hook it up to your chronograph, or use it to run ExBal or other ballistics program.

Sony Vaio P

Pros and Cons of Vaio P
We really like that fact that the Vaio P is so small and light. The portability means the device gets used much more, providing a web connection nearly everywhere you go (in urban areas). This editor has a 9-lb laptop with a 17″ screen. It’s a nice unit, but it rarely gets used because it’s so darn big and heavy. Conversely, I can easily bring the Vaio P anytime I’m in the car.

Sony Vaio P

The screen on the Sony Vaio P, though it offers 1600 x 768 resolution, is quite small, and won’t display most web pages without scrolling vertically. If you have a target-cam, you’ll be much happier using a standard-size laptop for a display. The 1600×768 resolution stuffs so many pixels in a small space that words are hard to read and there’s no quick path to change the resolution. However, when you’re on the web, you can use the browser’s zoom function to enlarge font size.

The Vaio P comes with a 60 gig conventional hard drive. We wish a Solid State Drive (SSD) was standard. A SSD is more shock-resistant and would consume less power. However, Sony does offer 64 GB or 128 GB SSDs as extra-cost options. As it is, the Sony Vaio P is pretty expensive at $899.00 street price.

For operating systems you have a choice of Windows Vista Premium or Vista Home for the Vaio P. We wish Sony gave buyers an XP or Linux OS option. Dell offers these choices with the Dell Mini laptop.

A Unique Product
The Vaio P is not a perfect product. At about $900.00, it’s expensive as mini-laptops go. However, when you consider that this can replace a GPS Navigation unit, a PDA (for your ballistics program), a Blackberry, and a digital camera, the Vaio P is an attractive alternative. Since it’s small enough to be truly portable, we think a device like this will actually get used a lot more than a big, heavy laptop. And if the Vaio P proves to be something you use virtually every day (like your cell-phone), then it’s well worth the investment. The Vaio P was a CNET “Best of CES” Award winner for 2009.

Sony Vaio P

Permalink New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »
March 18th, 2009

Surplus U.S. Military Brass Remains Available — Mutilation Orders Reversed

Over the past few days, there has been a storm of controversy surrounding sales of surplus U.S. military cartridge brass. The concern arose because DOD Surplus, LLC had announced to wholesale brass purchasers that future shipments of spent cartridge cases would have to be “mutilated” and sold as scrap metal. (DOD Surplus, LLC sells surplus brass under a contract with the Department of Defense.)

Shooters nationwide, fearing that surplus U.S. military brass would no longer be available, protested loudly to members of Congress and Department of Defense officials.

We are pleased to report that the “mutilation” requirement has been rescinded, and vendors such as Georgia Arms and GI Brass will continue to sell reloadable surplus cartridge cases obtained from the U.S. military.

How the Controversy Arose
The Department of Defense (DOD), on behalf of all the branches of the military, collects fired shell cases. Rather than sell surplus brass directly, the DOD has disposal contracts with DOD Surplus, LLC and Government Liquidation, LLC, two private companies. These companies aggregate and sell the brass in bulk to wholesalers, primarily through online auctions.

DOD Surplus, LLC had notified Georgia Arms that future lots of surplus brass would be subject to a NEW multilation requirement, effectively rendering the brass useless for reloading.

Where did that “mutilation” requirement come from? Was this some evil, new directive from the White House? Apparently not. Here’s what happened. Surplus brass has been handled under a “DEMIL B” product category. Prior to 11/2008, DEMIL B items required no mutilation for sale to the public. That policy changed last November, but several exemptions (waivers) were granted. Expended munitions brass was covered by a waiver.

After the new administration took office, some new manager, probably in the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), eliminated ALL exemptions for DEMIL B products. Why this was done, we don’t really know. It appears no consideration was given to the impact on the shooting industry. But this elimination of the DEMIL B brass waiver was communicated to DOD Surplus, LLC last week. DOD Surplus, LLC, in turn, told its purchasers that milsurp brass would have to be mutilated (rendered unusable) from here on out.

DOD Surplus brass

Surplus Brass Now Re-Classified DEMIL Q, so No Mutilation Required
Yesterday, March 17, at 5:15 pm a letter cosigned by Senator Tester (D-MT) and Senator Baucus (D-MT) was faxed to the Department of Defense asking DOD to reverse its new policy requiring destruction of fired military cartridge brass. That joint letter, combined with thousands of email messages sent to Washington, convinced the DOD to reverse the recent change in surplus brass policy.

At 5:30 PM on the 17th, the DOD faxed Senator Tester’s office announcing that the policy requiring multilation of surplus brass had been rescinded. Specifically, surplus military cartridge brass has been reclassified as a “DEMIL Q” product (not “DEMIL B” as before). DEMIL Q requires no product mutilation unless the item is sold to a foreign country.

BOTTOM LINE: Stocks of U.S. Military surplus cartridge brass will continue to be offered for sale, via wholesalers, to the general public. Problem solved. As announced by Georgia Arms: “DOD Surplus, LLC, has rescinded its prior directive that ALL small arms spent casings be mutilated rather than recycled. This was a huge victory for common sense and we would like to thank each and every person who made an effort and played a role in correcting this mistake.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 5 Comments »
March 18th, 2009

Berger Moly Bullet Close-Out Sale — Awesome Deals

Berger Bullets SaleBerger Bullets has kicked off a special sale on Berger moly-coated bullets. Berger let us release this information first in today’s Daily Bulletin, so that AccurateShooter.com readers will have “first crack” at these super deals.

PURCHASE TERMS
The following bullets are available at significant discounts while supplies last. These prices apply to listed inventories of moly-coated bullets only. Bullets that are not sold by the end of March will be scrapped. (Berger will still produce these bullets uncoated at regular prices, but the moly version is being closed out.)

Bullets must be paid by credit card only unless someone has already established an account with us. Berger will NOT not hold bullets for payment by check. Add a 5% discount if you buy ALL available boxes of a given caliber, weight, and style. Orders placed for 30 boxes or more get free shipping.

Place your order with Andrea Cobos at (714) 447-5456 or contact andrea.cobos [at] bergerbullets.com.

Berger Bullets Sale

LIST UPDATED as of 09:04 PST on 3/20
Here is the list of bullets still available. (Everything is selling fast…)

Berger 17 cal 30 gr Varmint Moly – 48 boxes – $27.21 per box (200 count)
Berger 22 cal 30 gr Varmint Moly – 18 boxes – $13.52 per box
Berger 22 cal 90 gr VLD Moly – 138 boxes – $17.30 per box
Berger 25 cal 87 gr Moly – 107 boxes – $24.14 per box
Berger 30 cal 110 gr Moly – 14 boxes – $20.69 per box
Berger 30 cal 155 gr BT Moly – 44 boxes – $25.70 per box
Berger 30 cal 168 gr BT Moly – 30 boxes – $24.00 per box

NOTE: The bullets listed above will remain in production in “naked” form, without moly-coating. These bullet designs are NOT being discontinued — just the moly-coated versions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
March 18th, 2009

John Loh Front Rest Now Offered by Sinclair Int'l

John Loh produces some of the most beautifully-machined shooting hardware on the planet. The Loh pedestal from JJ Industries is truly the “Rolls-Royce” of conventional (non-joystick) front rests. This editor has tried all the premium joystick (co-axial) rests, and numerous windage-top conventional rests. The Loh has the smoothest, steadiest horizontal tracking of any rest I’ve ever tried. F-classers who prefer to “hold-off” rather than dial clicks for windage changes will absolutely love the Loh. The vertical controls are extremely precise and allow you to make very minute movements of the cross-hairs with none of the “notchiness” or jumping you’ll find with some other models.

John Loh Front Benchrest Pedestal

Sinclair International now offers the Loh front rest for $879.95. Sinclair says: “The windage control system is built directly onto the baseplate so the entire top, post, and handwheel assembly moves as one complete unit. If you are looking for a premium made front rest that functions smoothly and is rock solid, then look no further.” Here are key features of the Loh rest:

– Weighing 17.7 lbs., the Loh is rock solid, with a very low center of gravity
– Full 100″ of windage travel at 100 yards
– A 3″-wide filled Edgewood front bag is included
– Large bubble level installed in easy-to-view position
– Large-diameter fluted mariner wheel for major elevation changes
– Solid brass speed screw
– All stainless hardware
– Durable black satin finish

Permalink Gear Review 6 Comments »
March 17th, 2009

IWA 2009 (Euro SHOT Show) Successful

IWA 2009 Arms Show

The 36th Annual IWA & OutdoorClassics trade show, the European equivalent of our SHOT Show, came to a successful close yesterday, March 16th. The 3-day exhibition, largest in Europe, drew more exhibitors than ever before — 1,132 from 53 nations. The 2009 event also set a new high in the number of IWA visitors, estimated at 32,000. The largely confident mood at IWA (despite the economic crisis) was tempered by concerns over the school shooting in Winnenden.

Despite the world economic downturn, IWA exhibitors observed that sales and orders remain strong. “With an export share of 80 per cent in some cases, it was feared before the start of IWA that the economic crisis would bring the industry a drop in sales in 2009 after a number of good years. But this has not been confirmed [yet]; the exhibitors are very satisfied with the course of the exhibition,” says Olaf Sauer, President of the Verband der Hersteller von Jagd-, Sportwaffen und Munition (JSM). Klaus Gotzen, General Manager of JSM, adds: “The strength of the industry lies in the high quality and innovativeness of its products. The great response from the visitors and the record number of exhibitors show that the industry is closing ranks to face the global challenge”.

For more information about the IWA arms show, visit the IWA Web Site, or download this official Survey of IWA Exhibitors and Visitors from the 2008 exhibition. The Video below shows many of the exhibits at the 2009 IWA show. (Note: there is a soundtrack so turn down your speakers if you’re at work.)

YouTube Preview Image
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March 17th, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day — Have Some Fun…

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and your Editor is Irish, so I figured we’d better offer some diversion on this “Green Tuesday”. According to legend, St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. Click the link below for an online flash game where you help Larry the Leprechaun wallop some snakes. Use the up/down and left/right arrow keys to control the Leprechaun. Grab 4-Leaf Clovers for bonus points. PS: You may want to turn the sound down… it drives you crazy very quickly.

CLICK Here for Lucky Leprechaun Flash Game

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March 17th, 2009

Pre-Owned Rimfire Match Rifles at MT Guns

Are you a rimfire shooter looking for an Anschütz action (or barreled action) to use in an after-market benchrest, silhouette, or prone stock (such as the new Elesio AN-1)? You can spend weeks watching the auction boards, or you can save time and money by just giving Mac Tilton a call at his shop in California.

Mac, owner of MTGuns.com, has hundreds of “previously owned” rimfire rifles in inventory, including scores of Anschütz models. Most have model 54 or 64 actions–he rarely gets the 2000-series barrel-block-style actions. But you can certainly build a match-winning rifle from a Model 54. Mac also stocks many BSA Martini and Walther match rifles. Our friend Joe F. recently picked up a used Suhl 150-1 from Mac. This editor has shot that gun and it is amazingly accurate, with a fantastic trigger. (Unfortunately, Mac has only a couple Suhls left.)

Big Shipment Just Arrived from Europe
Mac has just taken delivery of 150 rifles from Europe. Among this batch are a couple dozen 20-year-old Anschütz prone rifles that are essentially “as new”, still “in the wrap”. The rest of the shipment are mostly single-shot Anschütz prone or position rifles, but there will be some other brands in the mix. For more info, call Mac at (805) 720-7720, from 9 am to 5 pm, Pacific Time.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink News 13 Comments »
March 16th, 2009

National Park Service Bans Lead Ammo and Fishing Tackle

Park Service Lead BanIn an official press release dated March 10, 2009, the National Parks Service (NPS) announced its intention to ban all lead bullets, lead-containing ammunition, and lead fishing tackle in the lands under NPS control.

According to acting National Park Service director Dan Wenk: “Our goal is to eliminate the use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle in parks by the end of 2010. We want to take a leadership role in removing lead from the environment.”

The NPS announcement has drawn scathing criticism from groups representing hunters and anglers. The National Shooting Sports Foundation called the decision “arbitrary, over-reactive, and not based on science”. According to the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, the NPS lead ban “would needlessly push hunters to use more costly bullets made of tungsten, copper, and steel. The restrictions, set to take affect by the end of 2010, were announced without regard to science and without soliciting feedback from sportsmens’ groups.”

Outdoor groups were blind-sided by the NPS policy change, as the Park Service made no effort to consult hunters and fishermen before instituting the “no-lead” policy. “The NPS announcement demonstrates either complete ignorance or complete arrogance as to the effect that this policy will have on hunters,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “There is no science to support NPS’s contention that the use of lead ammunition in hunting is causing environmental contamination, having a negative effect on wildlife, or posing a threat to the health of visitors or park staff. This policy, and the lack of communication in advance with the sportsmen’s community, is a deliberate attempt to reduce the number of people who will want to hunt in the 60 parks that are open to hunting.”

With the Park Service lead ban be fully implemented as planned? We’ll have to see whether the chorus of criticism can derail the NPS policy. Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wire writes: “When the National Park Service decided to ban lead in fishing tackle and ammunition from properties under their control, they probably thought this was another of their little surprises that would stay under the radar. Instead, they’ve found themselves justifiably pilloried by a wide array of organizations representing the hunting and fishing communities and several state legislatures who find their capricious rule-making more than a little offensive.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
March 16th, 2009

Torbeck Takes Over at Remington Arms. Millner Becomes Cabela's CEO.

Remington ArmsIn a surprise move, Remington Arms announced that current President/CEO Tommy Millner will be replaced by Remington Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ted (Theodore) Torbeck. Torbeck has been promoted to CEO and director of both Remington Arms and Freedom Group Inc., Remington’s parent company. (Freedom Group is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private holding company.) Millner will make a lateral move to take over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of outdoor retailer Cabela’s Inc. (NYSE: CAB). The 55-year-old Millner had worked for Madison, N.C.-based Remington for 15 years, including the past 10 as CEO of parent Freedom Group Inc.

We don’t know the “how and why” of this executive re-shuffling, and whether Millner decided to “jump ship” on his own or whether he was pressured to leave. Freedom Group Chairman Paul Miller issued a statement thanking Millner for his years of service, and stating that Torbeck would help Remington “expand into new markets.” Before joining Remington as COO in February of 2008, Torbeck held various positions at General Electric beginning in 1978. He was vice president of operations of GE Industrial from 2006 to 2008.

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March 15th, 2009

Roto-Stand for Gunsmiths and Hobbyists

The Roto-Stand is a handy, innovative product that’s great for gunsmiths and anyone who needs to work on pistols or action and trigger assemblies. The product consists of two elements, a large, stable round base, plus a rotating, swivel head that can be locked in position. There are two different head assemblies available: 1) a general-purpose hobby vise with padded jaws; and 2) an adjustable, internal magazine post used to hold pistols. In the photo below you can see the Hobby Vise securing a Ruger 10/22 action. The Vise is not limited to gun applications — it will also secure electronics, fishing lures, RC motors, and other hobby items.

Roto-Stand with vise

The video below shows the Roto-Stand with Mag Post holding a 1911 pistol. The Mag Post secures your pistol from inside the magwell. The Mag Post has an adjustable internal wedge so you can adjust the amount of “grip”. Three different Mag Posts are offered — one for 1911s, a second for Sig P220s, and a third for most Glock models. Watch the video below to see the Roto-Stand and Mag Post used with a 1911 pistol.

YouTube Preview Image

The Roto-Stand and related components are sold by BAT Industries, LLC of California (no connection to BAT Machine in Idaho). The base assembly, by itself, costs $69.95. The Hobby Vise is $39.95, and the Mag Post is $19.95. BAT Industries offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Roto-Stand Base
$69.95
Hobby Vise
$39.95
Mag Post
$19.95
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March 15th, 2009

Click to Big Bulletin Page for Better Viewing

Many of our readers like to preview the Daily Bulletin by looking at the small preview portal on our home page. Some of you may not realize that there is a better, more reader-friendly way to read the Bulletin every day.

CLICK HERE to view Bulletin in full-page window.

We offer the Daily Bulletin on a larger, dedicated page. You can see the full width of the pictures, and the navigation tools won’t interfere with the text. It’s very simple to view the full-width Bulletin. We offer multiple links from the top of our home page (see illustration). In addition, right above the Bulletin preview window on the home page is a big red 6″-long button that says “CLICK HERE for DAILY BULLETIN”.

Once you’ve arrived at our Bulletin page, we suggest that you bookmark the address: www.accurateshooter.com/bulletin.html.

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March 14th, 2009

Berger Tips for Loading VLD Bullets

The folks at Berger Bullets have just released an interesting technical bulletin that describes methods for optimizing bullet seating depths with Berger VLDs. The document explains how to find the OAL “sweet spot” for VLDs in your rifle. Interestingly, while VLDs commonly work best seated into the rifling .010″ or more, Berger’s research indicates that, in some rifles, VLDs perform well jumped .040″ or more. This is a significant finding, one that’s backed-up by real-world testing by many shooters.

The key point in Berger’s report is that: “VLD bullets shoot best when loaded to a Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) that puts the bullet in a ‘sweet spot’. This sweet spot is a band .030″ to .040″ wide and is located anywhere between jamming the bullets into the lands and .150″ jump off the lands.”

CLICK HERE to download Berger VLD Tuning Tips

Writing in the report, Berger’s Eric Stecker observes: “Many reloaders feel (and I tend to agree) that meaningful COAL adjustments are .002 to .005. Every once in a while I might adjust the COAL by .010 but this seems like I am moving the bullet the length of a football field. The only way a shooter will be able to benefit from this situation is to let go of this opinion that more than .010 change is too much (me included).”

For target competition shooters (for whom it is practical to seat into the lands), Berger recommends the following test to find your rifle’s VLD sweet spot.

Load 24 rounds at the following COAL:
1. .010″ into (touching) the lands (jam) 6 rounds
2. .040″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
3. .080″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
4. .120″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

Berger predicts that: “One of these 4 COALs will outperform the other three by a considerable margin. Once you know which one of these 4 COAL shoots best then you can tweak the COAL +/- .002 or .005.”

OBSERVATION and WARNING
Berger may definitely be on to something here, and we applaud Berger’s testers for testing a very broad range of seating depths. However, we want to issue a STRONG WARNING to reloaders who may be inclined to try the 4-step method listed above.

Be aware that, as you load your cartridge progressively shorter, putting the bullet deeper into the case, you will be reducing the effective case capacity dramatically. With smaller cases, such as the .223 Rem and 6mmBR, moving from .010″ into the lands to .080″ and .120″ off the lands can CAUSE a dramatic pressure rise. So, a load .010″ into the lands that may be safe can be WAY OVERPRESSURE with the bullet seated .120″ off the lands (i.e. .130″ deeper in the case, the difference between .010″ in and .120″ out).

To illustrate, using a QuickLOAD simulation for the 6mmBR cartridge, moving the bullet 0.130″ deeper into the case can raise pressures dramatically. With the Berger 105 VLD seated .010″ in the lands (with 0.220 of bearing surface in the neck), and a charge of 30.0 grains of Varget, QuickLOAD predicts 60,887 psi. (This is using ADI 2208 data, and a 5500 psi start initiation value). If we move the bullet back 0.130″ further into the case, QuickLOAD predicts 64,420 psi (even after we drop start initiation pressure to the “default” non-jammed 3625 psi value). The 64,420 psi level is way higher!

Cartridge & Load COAL Jam/Jump* Start Pressure Max Pressure
6mmBR, 30.0 Varget
Berger 105 VLD
2.354″ +0.010″ in lands 5500 psi 60,887 psi
6mmBR, 30.0 Varget
Berger 105 VLD
2.324″ -0.20″ JUMP 3625 psi 59,645 psi
6mmBR, 30.0 Varget
Berger 105 VLD
2.264″ -0.80″ JUMP 3625 psi 62,413 psi
6mmBR, 30.0 Varget
Berger 105 VLD
2.224″ -0.120″ JUMP 3625 psi 64,420 psi

* As used here, this is the variance in OAL from a load length where the bullet ogive just touches the lands (first jacket to barrel contact). Loading bullets to an OAL beyond that point is “jamming” (seating bullet into lands), while loading to an OAL shorter than that is “jumping” (seating bullet away from lands).

NOTE: This is only a software simulation, and the real pressures you encounter may be different. But, the point is that moving the bullet 0.130″ further down in a 6mmBR case can raise pressures more than 3,000 psi! Therefore, you must employ EXTREME CAUTION when moving your bullets that much in a relatively small case. Remember that going from .010″ jam to a very long jump will probably increase pressures in your cartridge so you MUST adjust your load accordingly.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 23 Comments »
March 14th, 2009

Dates for Major 2009 Shooting Sports Events

The dates have been set for many of the more important 2009 shooting sports events and matches. Listed below are some key dates for major events this year. Mark your calendars. You can find schedules for other State Championships and other regional events on the NRA Tournament Calendar Page.

April 17-18
Brownell’s Gunsmith Career Fair
The Meadows Events & Conference Center
Altoona, IA

April 24-26
NBRSA 600-Yard National Championship
Sacramento Valley Shooting Center
Sloughhouse, CA

May 15-17
NRA Show and Annual Meetings
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix, AZ

May 20-23
Firearms Industry Super Shoot
Kelbly’s Inc. Range
N Lawrence, OH

June 27-28
East/West Show-Me Shootout
Benchrest Club of St. Louis
Wright City, MO

July 13 – August 15
Camp Perry National Matches
Camp Perry Training Site
Port Clinton, OH

July 27-31
Varmint Hunter Jamboree
VHA Club Range
Pierre, SD

August 17-22
IBS 100/200 Yd Group Nationals
Union County Sportsman’s Club
Millmont, PA

September 20 – 26
NBRSA 100/200 yd Group Nationals
Benchrest Club of St Louis
Wright City, MO

September (Dates Pending)
National F-Class Prone Championships
Camp Butner
Butner, NC

Permalink Competition No Comments »
March 13th, 2009

Lapua Brass Arrives at MidwayUSA and Grafs.com

Lapua cartridge brassLapua cartridge brass has been in short supply recently. The good news is that a large shipment (of various cartridge types) recently arrived, and both MidwayUSA and Grafs.com are now again showing quantities in stock. Yes, MidwayUSA has 6mmBR, 220 Russian, and .308 Win brass now. You may still have to check multiple sources, and if you wait a week or so, the brass should get to other discount vendors such as Powder Valley. Cabela’s has Lapua brass in stock also… but no 6mmBR or .308 Win.

MidwayUSA now has Lapua 6mmBR brass at $82.99 per 100 (item 1270323515), 220 Russian brass at $97.99 per 100 (item 1270320316), and .308 Win brass at $72.99 per 100 (item 1270187523). MidwayUSA is also showing Lapua brass availability for: 20 Tactical, 222 Rem, 223 Rem, 7.62×39, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47, and 6.5-284, 6.5×55, and 30-06. Everything is pretty expensive — for example the 6.5×47 brass is $110.99 per 100 (ouch!).

Grafs.com hasn’t posted all the new Lapua brass it has received yet, but today Graf’s is showing availability of Lapua brass for: 222 Rem ($49.99/100), .243 Winchester ($72.99/100), 6.5×47 ($91.99/100), 7.62×39 ($46.59/100), 30-06 ($89.59/100). We don’t believe Grafs.com received 6mmBR brass in this shipment, but they should get some by early April.

If you still can’t find what you need, Cabela’s has the following types of Lapua rifle brass in stock: .243 Win ($69.99), 6.5×47 ($89.99/100), 6.5-284 ($99.99/100), 30-06 ($85.99/100), and .338 Lapua Magnum ($214.99/100).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
March 13th, 2009

Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars Win Optics Awards

At SHOT Show 2009, we were impressed with the new Zeiss Victory laser rangefinder (LRF), listing it as one of the highlights of the 2009 Show.

A companion product line, the Zeiss Victory range-finding binoculars, have won a series of prestigious awards. Introduced in early 2008, the Zeiss Victory RF was named a “Leading Edge: The Best of What’s Next” product by National Geographic Adventure magazine, which wrote: “Zoom in on an object through the Zeiss Victory 8×45 rangefinding binoculars and a crisp LED display will give you its exact distance — as if you had Million Dollar Man eyesight. Traditional high-end Zeiss lenses and workmanship and a waterproof body complete this first-of-its-kind package.”

The Victory RF, claimed to be the world’s first premium binoculars with digital laser rangefinder, LED Display AND Ballistic Information System (BIS), also won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award in addition to the Chicago Athenaeum: GOOD DESIGN™ Award. Both are international awards that recognize the best design innovations of the year.

Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars Features:
• Ranges from 10 yards to 1,300 yards.
• Integrated design — Victory RF binoculars are the world’s first binoculars with a hinge bridge that do not require a separate laser emitter.
• Tightly focused Beam — The laser beam used in the Victory RFs is narrow with minimal beam divergence, so you can range small targets even at long distances.
• Accurate “One-Touch” rangefinding for a steadier image.
• Ballistic Information System (BIS) that automatically calculates required aiming hold-over at the ranged distance.

Great Performance, but Extremely Expensive
What’s the downside of the Zeiss Victory RF binoculars? They cost a fortune. The Zeiss Victory 8×45 version retails for about $2900.00, while the 10×45 model runs about $3,000. That makes the Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars MORE Expensive than the Leica 8×56 Geovids which have a much larger objective, providing better low-light performance (and a larger exit pupil). And, you can get the smaller 8×42 BRF Geovids for $2245 at Adorama.com and other large online vendors.

Are the 8×45 Zeiss Victory RFs worth $750 more than the 8×42 Leica Geovids? You’ll really have to make that decision for yourself. The Geovids are a known quantity, having proven themselves in the field over many years. The Zeiss Victory RF offers more sophisticated software (with the BIS), and we think the Victory is more secure and comfortable to hold.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
March 12th, 2009

Gun Deals in Classifieds — Matt's 6-6.5×47 and Turnkey Dasher

We spotted a couple excellent deals in our Shooters’ Forum Classifieds, if you are looking for a 17-lb class BR gun for 300 to 1000-yard varminting and competition.

DEAL ONE — Matt’s 6-6.5×47 for $2100.00
Matt Dienes is a very well-known and respected shooter at the Williamsport Club. He’s decided to part with his Black 6-6.5×47 Light gun that has performed very well at 1000 yards. Only 125 rounds through the Bartlein barrel. Here are the specs:

6-6.5×47 Lapua Light Gun
Panda RB/LP polished action with Jewell trigger
Bartlein HV Contour 1:8″ twist, 4-groove with nuzzle brake
Chambered as 6-6.5×47 Lapua with a .273″, no-turn neck.
McMillan MBR Tooley stock, black color
Polished Shehane +20 MOA Rings.

CLICK HERE for more info and photos.

Matt notes: “The chamber work and muzzle brake were done by Springman rifles. This rifle has shot 3″ at 1000 yards, and that was backed up with a 5.1″ at the Nationals. With only approximately 125 rounds through the barrel, this gun is ready for the 2009 season.”

DEAL TWO — Turnkey 6mm Dasher Package for $2800.00
Here’s an attractive package deal for someone who wants a 6mm Dasher
bench gun. Seller Brandon has a complete rifle, with fire-formed brass, dies, bullets, and even a spare, new Krieger barrel. Brandon says he’s spent nearly $4000 on the rifle and associated tools and components, but he will part with the whole package for $2800.00. Note, though the action has a left bolt, the stock is ambidextrous, so a right-hander could shoot this from the bench — but you’d have to load with your right hand. There’s a lot of value in this package… heck the Kelbly BR trigger is worth $240.00 by itself.

6mm Dasher FS

CLICK HERE for more info and Larger Photos.

Dasher Gun Specs:
Stolle Panda (polished bolt) Left bolt/Right Port, No Ejector
Kelbly BR trigger
Stolle polished four-screw 1″ scope rings
Shehane Tooley-style stock: grey, yellow, blue, purple
Shehane Tracker aluminum buttplate
26″ Krieger barrel, .236″ bore, 1:8″ twist, chambered with .272″ no-turn neck,.104″ freebore
31″ Brand New un-chambered Krieger blank, .236″ bore. 1:8″ twist

6mm DasherReloading Tools & Components:
Forster BR Microm.-top Dasher seater die
Forster Dasher full-length sizing die
Wilson inline Dasher neck-sizing die
Lucas Bore Guide
Close to 200 Lapua 6mmbr cases (Approx. 170 fire-formed Dasher cases; 30 more un-formed cases.)
Approx. 250 Berger 105gr VLDs
50 105gr Lapua Scenars
25 107gr Sierra MKs

Brandon would like to keep the rifle, but the current economy dictates otherwise. Brandon tells us: “I have several groups in the .1s and .2s at 100 yards working up loads and several under an inch at 300 yards. the rifle has been shot less than 350 times, possibly less than 300. And there is a brand new 31″ Krieger waiting to go on as well. The rifle was built by a well-known smith from the recommended gunsmith list on this site last summer. This is a great opportunity to get a very Accurate rifle with everything you need to reload and start shooting tiny groups at long range. Asking $2,800.”

If you’re interested, contact Brandon via our Shooters’ Forum Classifieds.

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March 11th, 2009

Creedmoor Sports Unveils New Air Rifle — Anschütz Accuracy in a Service Rifle Package.

Creedmoor Sports has introduced a new Air Rifle that mates an Olympic-quality Anschütz 8000-series barreled action (and trigger) with authentic AR15-style stock, chassis, and sights. The new system, dubbed the “AiR-15™”, is designed to allow Service Rifle and High Power competitors to cross-train with a precision air rifle system between matches and during the off-season. Although the rifle is supplied with a mock magazine (for correct off-hand ergonomics), the gun is a single-shot, using manual-fed 0.177 pellets. The AiR-15 combines an Anschutz 8001 junior barreled action with the patent-pending Creedmoor AiR stock kit. The stock kit includes the receiver sleeve, fore-end (with sling swivel, air cylinder, alignment hanger), butt stock, carry handle with National Match rear sight (1/4 min), and a National Match front sight.

Creedmoor Sports AR15 Air Rifle Anschutz

Creedmoor Sports AR15 Air Rifle Anschutz

Dennis DeMille, past Camp Perry Champion and Creedmoor Sports General Manager, has worked hard to develop the AiR-15 system. He has shot the prototype and he believes it is an ideal training platform for Service Rifle Shooters. Dennis tells us: “Look, you can shoot this in your basement in the dead of winter. The ergonomics are identical to the AR15. The sights, front and rear, are in exactly the same position. And by using Anschütz 8001 barreled actions and triggers, the system offers superb accuracy. The AR Air Rifle will deliver one-pellet-hole accuracy at 10 meters. I’ve visited the Anschütz factory. Every one of these barreled actions is tested and they all come with test targets verifying their accuracy.”

Creedmoor Sports AR15 Air Rifle AnschutzPrice and Availability
Creedmoor’s new AiR-15 air rifle should be available as a complete rifle by early summer 2009. The retail price for a complete AiR-15 will be US $1850.00. Though delivery will take a few months, Creedmoor is taking orders right now for the first production run.

There will also be a kit for shooters who already own an Anschütz 8000-series air rifle. The kit will include the full AR-style stock and chassis, including handguard, sights, receiver assembly, and buttstock. The price of the kit will depend on production costs and projected sales demand, but Demille hopes to deliver the kits for under $800.00. With the kit, you can simply “drop-in” your 8000-series barreled action.

AiR-15 to Be Used in New CMP Air Rifle National Match Program
For 2009, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has developed a new National Match Air Rifle discipline consisting of High Power-style matches shot at reduced distances with air rifles. At CMP National Match Air Rifle tournaments, you can use sporter, precision or AR-type air rifles to shoot in 10-meter standing and three-position (prone, sitting and standing) courses of fire that simulate outdoor High Power rifle shooting (but with reduced-sized targets). A test match for this new Air Rifle National Match Series will be held this Saturday, March 14th, in Anniston, Alabama. There will be a 20-shot standing event as well as a 60-shot prone + sitting + standing event.

CLICK HERE for CMP National Match Air Rifle Information Brochure.

Challenging Even at 10 Meters
While Dennis DeMille believes the AiR-15 will be ideal for introducing new shooters into rifle competition, he wanted to stress that shooting the AiR-15, even at 10 meters, can help even the best High Power shooters improve their scores. Dennis explained: “While this air rifle is capable of one-hole accuracy (at 10m), it is also very unforgiving of flaws in form or hold. Because the pellets are moving so slowly (about 575 ft/sec.), any mistake will move you out in the scoring ring. This air rifle will help you develop perfect trigger control, perfect follow-through, and perfect natural point of aim. Trust me — you can’t BS any part of your hold with an air rifle. I know if you train with an air rifle in the off season, your centerfire scores will improve.”

Creedmoor May Sponsor Winter Indoor ‘Air AR’ matches
If air-powered versions of the AR15 Service Rifle prove popular, Creedmoor Sports is considering sponsoring off-season matches at different locations across the country. These would feature reduced 10m targets that exactly duplicate the sight picture of NRA Across-the-Course targets at 200, 300, and 600 yards.

For more information, visit CreedmoorSports.com or call 1-800-CREEDMOOR.

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March 11th, 2009

Help Young Shooters with Tax-Deductible Gun Donations

The Youth Shooting Sports Alliance (YSSA) has introduced a new Donated Firearms Program to help support youth shooting programs. If you donate a “previously-owned” firearm, the YSSA will auction the gun on Gunbroker.com. After the gun is sold, the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, will provide the donor with a receipt showing the sale value. You can then claim this amount as a charitable deduction on your income taxes.

Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

“The Donated Firearms Program provides an opportunity for sportsmen and women to donate their old guns and help the YSSA build the next generation of shooters” said David Baron, President of Baron Technology, Inc. and President of YSSA. Baron added “It may be just your old gun, but put in the right hands, it can help … the next generation of shooters and hunters.”

CLICK HERE to download YSSA gun donation form.

Prospective donors are asked to complete a sign-up form, available on YSSA’s website (or by clicking the above link). In addition to collecting the donor’s contact info, the form requests a description of the donated firearm(s) (including any known defects). The donor must also supply contact information for the Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder who will be shipping the donor’s firearm. The donor will be provided copies of all communications between the FFL holders involved. The donor must agree to pay for shipping of the firearm to the YSSA’s designated FFL holder — Red’s Army/Navy, Kitty Hawk, NC.

Auction proceeds will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for priority youth shooting sports programs nationwide. This is a worthy program that allows you to get a tax deduction for those old guns that may be sitting in your say. Visit the YSSA website for more information.

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March 10th, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects NYC Lawsuit vs. Gun-Makers

U.S. Supreme CourtPutting an end to nine years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear New York City’s request to continue a lawsuit that sought to hold firearms manufacturers responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms. Among the companies sued were Beretta USA Corp., Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC, Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Glock GmbH.

“We are very pleased by today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to not review lower appellate court rulings that dismissed cases based on the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “These baseless lawsuits against responsible, law-abiding companies are the type that Congress intended to prevent by passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.”

The city’s lawsuit was originally filed in 2000 by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and was continued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. After the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed by Congress in 2005, a federal judge threw out the New York lawsuit. Then in April of 2008, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision, saying the new law was constitutional. New York City’s final recourse was to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but on March 9th the High Court refused the case.

LINK to N.Y. Times Report on NYC Gun Litigation.

This report is provided by the NSSF.

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